Kerry Stevenson said he feels special - his home is one of 4,000 Winnipeg households chosen for a two-year food waste pilot project.
“I like to experiment with things," said Stevenson. "I’m all in for this, I’m really curious to see how it works."
People in five selected neighbourhoods were given green bins similar to the garbage and recycling carts. They’re encouraged to put discarded food in them. After that the carts go out on the curb with the existing bins on garbage and recycling day for pickup, starting next week.
The goal is to get feedback to see how this could be rolled out in residential neighbourhoods city-wide.
This is all in an effort to divert food waste from the landfill, making compost instead.
The city’s water and waste chair Councillor Brian Mayes said his thinking has evolved on the subject of collecting organics.
“I think it’s time for Winnipeg to start doing it. I mean we can’t be accused of rushing into it, we’re finally getting going," said Mayes.
Homeowners are expected to use an accompanying kitchen pail with compostable or paper bags before transferring the food to the green bin.
Kerry Stevenson said he’s up for the task, but wonders how winter will impact this and if all Winnipeggers will buy-in.
“If some people are faced with the possibility of having four types of trash, that could be a barrier to some people," said Stevenson. “If you’re really lazy you’re just going to throw that in the garbage.”
And then there’s the price tag - the city is spending $1.8 million on the pilot. Spreading this across Winnipeg could cost tens of millions of dollars.
“If it works - what works, what doesn’t, and then they’ll be a debate I guess on how to pay for it and how much it will cost and whether that goes on your property tax or is it paid for some other way,” said Mayes.
Stevenson suggests the environmental benefits outweigh the costs.
“Why make more landfill when you don’t have to,” said Stevenson.
The city said a residential food waste program is the only way to significantly increase the city’s 30 per cent diversion rate.